Monday, September 14, 2009

Federal Hall

Federal Hall
George Washington Statue in front of Federal Hall,
New York Stock Exchange in the background

President Barack Obama was in New York City earlier today to deliver a midday speech on the financial crisis at Federal Hall, on the one-year anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Bros.
Federal Hall, at 26 Wall Street and across from the New York Stock Exchange, is in a building dating to 1842 that was first used as the Customs House. In an earlier building at the same location, George Washington was inaugurated as president on April 30, 1789. Federal Hall was the first capitol of the United States of America and the site of George Washington's inauguration as the first President of the United States on April 30, 1789. It is also the place where the United States Bill of Rights was passed. The original building was demolished in the nineteenth century and replaced by the current structure, which served as the first United States Customs House. Today, the Federal Hall National Memorial, as it is now known, is operated by the National Park Service as a museum commemorating the historic events that happened there.
Federal Hall was built in the classical style and is considered one of the best examples of this type of architecture still standing in Manhattan. Designed by Ithiel Town and Alexander Jackson Davis, it features regal Doric columns meant to resemble the Parthenon and the ideals of Greek democracy. The domed ceiling, designed by John Frazee, also resembles the inside of the same famous Greek monument. A large bronze statue of George Washington stands on the front steps, marking the place where he was inaugurated. The statue was created in 1883 by John Quincy Adams Ward.

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